Stephen C. Foster State Park

DARK SKY AWARD: Join us December 10 for an astronomy program and celebration of our "International Dark Sky Designation."

BOATING NOTICE: Water levels are so low that we cannot give guided boat tours or rent motor boats at this time. Kayak and canoe rentals are still available.
CAMPFIRE NOTICE: Due to drought conditions and high winds, a full fire ban has been imposed. No open fires are allowed, but covered gas grills are allowed.
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» Boating Notice:
› Boating activities may be restricted during low water levels.

» Visitor Notices:
› The park is located 18 miles from Fargo and 50 miles from a major grocery store.
› Visitors should bring all supplies with them and have plenty of gasoline in their vehicle.
› Cell phone service may be unreliable.
› Late arrivals are not allowed due to NWR regulations.

This remote park is a primary entrance to the legendary Okefenokee Swamp—one of Georgia's seven natural wonders. Spanish moss-laced trees reflect off the black swamp waters, while cypress knees rise upward from the glass-like surface. Here, paddlers and photographers will enjoy breathtaking scenery and abundant wildlife. Alligators, turtles, raccoons, black bears, deer, ibis, herons, wood storks, red-cockaded woodpeckers and numerous other creatures make their homes in the 402,000-acre refuge. Stargazers will appreciate the particularly dark sky

Same-day reservations are recommended for guided pontoon boat tours of the swamp. Sunset tours may be available. More adventurous visitors may wish to rent canoes, kayaks or jon boats for further exploration of the swamp, including a trip to historic Billy’s Island. Fishing in the lake is excellent, particularly for warmouth, bluegill, catfish, chain pickerel and bowfin. Boating is dependent upon water levels.  

Perhaps the most famous inhabitant of the Okefenokee Swamp is the American Alligator. Officials estimate that 12,000 of the country’s largest reptile live within the 402,000-acre refuge. To safely view these creatures, visitors should admire them from a distance and keep hands and feet inside boats. Pets are not allowed in boats, even privately owned vessels.  

Because Stephen C. Foster State Park is located within a National Wildlife Refuge, gates lock at closing and a $5 refuge fee is charged.


GPS Coordinates:

N 30.8269500 | W -082.3621000
Located 18 miles northeast of Fargo at the end of Highway 177. Note that GPS directions are often not accurate; consult a highway map.

17515 Highway 177
Fargo, GA 31631
Clinch County



Paddle Under the Stars
Friday, Dec 9, 2016 6:30 PM to 8 PM
Saturday, Dec 17, 2016 5 PM to 7 PM
Presenter/Location: Stephen C. Foster State Park
Join a ranger-guided paddle as the sun sets over the Okefenokee Swamp. Watch as the last light of day fades into the dark night, leaving only the twinkling light of stars and the moon to guide the way...  $15-$20 plus $5 parking. 912-637-5274.
Introduction to Archery Family
Saturday, Dec 10, 2016 2 PM to 4 PM
Presenter/Location: Stephen C. Foster State Park
Learn the basics of archery and see if this hobby is right for you. We will provide all the equipment you need to be hitting the bulls-eye in no time. Must be 7 and up to participate. Must pre-pay to pre-register. Meet at the Park Office 5 minutes early. Program is outdoor and weather permitting...  $10 plus $5 parking. 912-637-5274.
Dark Sky Celebration - Astronomy Program
Saturday, Dec 10, 2016 5 PM to 7:30 PM
Presenter/Location: Stephen C. Foster State Park
Celebrate our designation as an official dark sky site by the International Dark Sky Association. We will begin with a ceremony and follow with stargazing in the Okefenokee Swamp. The moon will be in the waxing gibbous phase, allowing us to see craters in detail... $5 parking. 912-637-5274.
Handicapped AccessibleGet Outdoors Georgia
Swamper's Guide to the Galaxy
Friday, Dec 30, 2016 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Presenter/Location: Stephen C. Foster State Park
Watch for meteors, planets, observe the moon or take in all the stars above as we gaze upon a truly dark sky from deep within the Okefenokee. We will use both our unaided eyes and telescopes while we stargaze. Stephen C... $5 parking. 912-637-5274.
Get Outdoors Georgia
First Day Hike: Sunrise on the Boardwalk
Sunday, Jan 1, 2017 7 AM to 8 AM
Presenter/Location: Stephen C. Foster State Park
We will begin the first day of the new year by watching the first sunrise over the Okefenokee of 2017. As the swamp emerges from the dark of night, we will discuss the importance of fire, watch for birds and listen for creatures as we hike along the Trembling Earth Nature Trail. $5 parking. 912-637-5274.
John and Karen Stone